A new report from Macotakara suggests that the fourth-generation iPad Air will adopt the USB-C port previously only seen on the recent Pro models.
Apple looks to be slowing refreshing the iPad lineup and replacing the Lightning connector with USB-C. However, the blog says that the 8.5-inch new iPad mini will stick with the Lightning connector, suggesting a similar design to previous years.
iPad Air (4th generation) will have a specification with USB-C connector while iPad mini 8.5-inch will have lightning connector. As iPad Air (3rd generation) was developed based on iPad Pro (10.5-inch), iPad Air (4th generation) may be developed based on iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation) by downgrading the rear camera features.
It’s increasingly likely that the iPad Air 4 could be based on the 11-inch iPad Pro’s boxy design. We previously heard reports of a larger display in the next-generation iPad Air and now, along with the rumour of USB-C, this seems to fit the description of the current Pro design. Whilst the front will have a smaller and lower-quality display, the rear chassis could be similar.
Furthermore, the cost could be kept down by downgrading the internals and rear parts (such as the camera). It’s a move that will slowly modernise the cheaper iPads and make the iPad lineup more universal.
Author’s Comment: The rumours are starting to make sense and match. If Apple releases a new iPad with the Pro design, it could prove very popular, whilst still being slightly less powerful. I want to see how Apple implements the design, especially the front, with in-screen Touch ID also rumoured.